Mel B and Stephen Belafonte
Mel B and Stephen Belafonte plan to share custody of their daughter Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Ten years after surprising us with the announcement of her secret wedding to film producer Stephen Belafonte, Melanie 'Mel B' Brown has filed for divorce.

The former Spice Girl submitted legal documents, citing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split. She put the date of the separation as 28 December.

According to the papers, the estranged couple has decided to share joint legal and physical custody of their daughter, Madison Brown Belafonte, 5. The X Factor UK judge has also applied to terminate the court's ability to award spousal support, according to People Magazine.

Brown and Belafonte started dating in early 2007 and skipped off to Las Vegas for a secret wedding in June of the same year.

The couple showed no signs of domestic unhappiness, and as recently as 19 February, Belafonte gushed about his wife's eight-week run as Roxie Hart in the Broadway production Chicago. "Can graduations (sic) to my super sexy multi talented wife @officialmelb For playing the lead in Chicago on broadway!! All good things come to an end and now I get my baby back!!!" he wrote on Instagram.

The 41-year-old performer also shared a romantic message to her husband on the social media site, gushing about their strong relationship. "We have been through everything that would normally tear couples apart and we have come out on the other side stronger. You loved me before I even [knew] how to really love myself. You are my world, honey," she wrote.

Despite the public displays of affection, the couple has also had to face a number of troubles, with rumours about Belafonte physically abusing Brown after she appeared on the December 2014 episodes of X Factor, sporting a number of scratches and bruises.

Aside from Madison, The America's Got Talent judge also has two daughters from previous relationships: Angel Iris Murphy Brown, 9, and Phoenix Chi Gulzar, 17. Belafonte has one daughter, Giselle, 12 with ex-girlfriend Nicole Contreras.